The dawn is starting to come earlier now. It enters my room in thinly sliced rays through the opening of the drapes. I usually arise as soon as I open my eyes, but not today. I want to stay here and pull the covers over my shoulders and stare at the ceiling.
We slept . . . . why should we have cared what time it was? We had no plan or demand upon us. We slept late with breakfast in bed accentuated later by coffee-flavored kisses. We had learned to find our luxuries within ourselves. And then you were asleep, alone with yourself, and watching you lost in slumber was filled with question and mystery. Looking at you beside me, I could conclude but one thing . . . . if I were God, I would have made you exactly as you were. I would change nothing even though some imperfection might have been my salvation. You were oblivious to my vigilance and later, when you awoke, you were lovelier than all of your yesterdays.
There were days of rain; our world beneath dark, pregnant clouds. You would sit in the window seat watching rivulets course down the panes. You remained silent so not to break my concentration as I wrote. Your thoughts were far from us, in another place I had never seen before. Then your mind would move back into your face and you would force a smile. Only now I know where your thoughts had taken you and I wonder about your fear and dread. How do you tell someone you love that your days are numbered?
Autumn is upon me and I am busy forgetting you all over again. I do that every season, every year. I pretend that I will turn a page and the chapter of you will be ended. Each season comes with its own catalog of recollections. Flying kites in a forgotten glade. You laughing and jumping in bed for ‘only a minute’ and blessing me with toothpaste kisses. Sitting in silence, reading books as you sighed with Gesualdo Bufalino and scolded me for not learning Italian. You suddenly giving one of your quick ‘happy kisses’ that came like samples and without reason. Your tear bright eyes beneath the harvest moon. Autumn makes it impossible to turn the page.
Is it so strange that each sight of beauty returns you to me? I somehow learned, long ago, to see all beauty through you. Now, a thumbnail moon reminds me of you. The chanting of the evening hawk returns you to me. When trees decide to dress in the lavish colors of the season, you peek into my mind. I put my arm around the empty space beside me.
Do I have a reason to arise? Everything is motionless, the sun has returned as a flaming wick. It lights the distant mountains that fit into each other like lovers. Even the crickets now speak in whispers. And so I will push myself from bed and follow the script of today.
She would have wanted that.
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She Would Have Wanted That
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